Yep, still in Colorado…. but I certainly am not complaining ❤️the beauty here is unreal, completely breathtaking… and slightly distracting. As we were driving down the road early Saturday morning to get away from the hearts of Labor Day campers that took over our temporary home I had to keep reminding myself to take pictures for you guys! I was so taken by the absolutely majestic scenery I completely lost myself… I needed a pinch to wake up out of my daze!
With our original plans taking us to the state fair in Pueblo we came across the amazing Royal Gorge… although I’m scared to death of heights, we still had to stop by for my adrenaline junky family… even the baby ran up and looked over the edge!
We didn’t stay long, again our goal was to get away from the herds of people… why we planned to go to the fair I don’t know but like every weekend I knew that’s not where we’d end up! On our way out of the Gorge we found a hidden gem… full of gems! Being a Rock driven family you could imagine the excitement when we found this Rock Shop, In fact we spent more time here than at the Royal Gorge, and even picked out a few souvenirs ❤️
This place had every rock known to man and then some! I only took pic of half the stuff they had, and then only post of few of those pic… I have to come to the realization not everyone loves rocks as much as us… so I held back a little, besides we packed so much into this weekend we’d be here all day if I talked about all the cool stuff they had! After a good hour or two at the Rock Shop, we changed directions and decided to head to Grand Junction… this drive is where I learned why they call it colorful Colorado… with seasons just starting to change I truly felt I was in a watercolor painting!
We put a lot of ground under our tires, stopping fairly often to check out a few potential hiking stops for the following day… I must have fell in love 100 different times with all the cute little towns we found hidden in the mountains…. I’d love to live in one of these little mountain towns, although I bet it gets pretty cold in the winter!
We couldn’t have asked for better weather, a few sprinkles high in the mountains… but we were over 10,000 feet, as soon as we came back down the sun was shining bright! We scopes out all the gold mines covering the mountains in Georgetown, races a few trains, and of course spectated the Rocky Mountains as we cruised threw…We saw a giant mountain goat hanging out in Officers Gorge, and decided that was where we were going to hike the next day, it was beautiful and only about an hour away from The Junction. We were exhausted after driving all day, funny how tired sitting can make you. So we got a cheap hotel in Grand Junction America’s Best Value Inn… not some place I’d normally go but after reading the reviews we decided to try it out… it was great, super clean and friendly… great breakfast in the morning… for $70 right off the I-70… we scored! We grabbed a few supplies and some pizza and headed of to bed! Little did we know we were going be even more exhausted the next day!
After a great grab and go breakfast at the front desk we headed out ready for our hike! Driving back to Officers we came across a train that look to be used to push big rocks off the tracks… Two things Jim loves rocks and trains… so of corse we stopped… neither of us had ever seen anything like it, and after a quick search it seemed as if google had never seen anything like it either!
I think these d train cars are so cool, and when I win the lottery I’d like to use old train cars as individuals guest houses on my big beautiful ranch… remodeling of corse… but how cool would that be?
After a nice leg stretch, back in the car for another 30 mins… the sun was so pretty it was begging me to take pictures ❤️
We finally arrived and loaded up Ella in the backpack and hit the mountains hard…. straight up, I started feeling the burn seconds after starting… I really need to get in better shape, I mean if Jim wasn’t carrying Ella, I’d never be able to keep up with him… even with her on his back I can barely keep up!!
The higher we got the closer the water sounded, and I remembered the gold pans we still had in our pack from last weekend… all the gold mines we had seen, there has to be gold way up here.. we followed the sound of the water and climbed and climbed! We started seeing carvings on trees, from so long ago… and old mine remains… to have seen what these trees had seen over the years
We finally found a trail over to the water and spent a good hour resting, playing and panning in the icy water. We didn’t find any gold, but man we found some beautiful rocks…. even though we didn’t find gold, I’m sure if we kept at it we probably would have but it was starting to get late and we still had a bit of a drive before we got home. We packed up and started heading back down, when Jim stopped and decided to mark our own tree…
I was sure Ella will probably try to find this tree when she gets older…. and that got my mind thinking… the whole way down the hill I was thinking of a grand adventure for our little princess… We are going to hide a box in every state we visit… a little treasure hunt for Ella when she gets older, so she can re visit all these places we had so much fun exploring. Not exactly sure what we will put in these boxes, or how we will draw a map…. neither of us are very artistic… but we are doing it!!! So of your reading this now, keep your eyes open for a blog from my daughter in 15-20 years of her adventures finding the hidden treasures her parents hid for her. If we can’t leave her anything else when we go at least we will pass down to her our sense of adventure…. and who wouldn’t want a handful of maps of treasure hidden just for you all over the states?